Here's why coronavirus is easy to kill and how you can do it at home

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A lot of people are wondering how to best protect themselves and their families from coronavirus. Turns out, disinfectants don't necessarily kill upon contact, and you need to read your cleaning product labels.

"All of these products here are considered effective against the coronavirus," said Clorox scientist, Richard Lowe, pointing to a display of Clorox disinfecting products.

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The EPA lists multiple Clorox products as effective against novel coronavirus.

The company, which is headquartered in Oakland, has seen a rise in their stock price, as their disinfectants sell out across the country amid coronavirus concerns.

"We've recently started ramping up production."

Lowe explains that there is some good news about the virus.

"A coronavirus is what's called an envelope virus and that means it has an outer envelope that's composed of proteins and a fatty material called a lipid, and it's that outer layer that makes it relatively simple to kill with most disinfectants, compared to other viruses that don't have that envelope."

Once you have a disinfectant, you need to make sure to use it correctly. On the Clorox disinfecting wipes canister, it says you need to wipe your surface and leave it visibly wet for 4 minutes, to ensure that you kill viruses and bacteria.

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So Lowe says to always read your cleaning product labels for instructions and guidance on what viruses, bacteria, and fungi it kills. And if you're unsure if a specific product is an authentic disinfectant, Lowe says to look for the EPA regulation numbers on the label.

"It's really a tough time in terms of disease transmission," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF.

Dr. Chin-Hong says washing your hands, for at least 20 seconds, is the best way to reduce your risk of infection.

He says the next best option is hand sanitizer, but with a shortage of Purell and other like products on store shelves, many people are trying to make their own...

"It's not reliable," said Dr. Chin-Hong.

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He says if you must make sure your concoction is mostly alcohol and that you apply it correctly.

"As long as the product is at least 60% alcohol and you cover all the surfaces and wait for it to dry, it should be okay," said Dr. Chin-Hong.

To protect yourself against coronavirus, Dr. Chin-Hong says to remember the 4 S's.

"Sanitize your hands, clean Surfaces, keep your Social distance and Stay home if you're sick."

Go here for the latest news, information and videos about the coronavirus.

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